Jonathan Sacks Agwai, Appoints New SURE-P Chairman

Written by on March 11, 2015


President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sacked the Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd).

The president consequently appointed a kinsman of Agwai, also from southern Kaduna, in Kaduna State, Mr. Ishaya Dare Akau, to replace him as the new Chairman of SURE-P.

Agwai had last week delivered a lecture at former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s 78th birthday held at Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Checks revealed that Agwai’s lecture at the event may have irked  Jonathan.
Also, according to an online news medium, The Cable, the retired general and former Chief of Defence Staff, lost his job as the chairman of the (SURE-P) for promoting the rhetoric of “change” at the 78th birthday of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
His removal was announced by Reuben Abati, the presidential spokesman, in a statement, but Abati did not offer any official reason for the president’s decision.

However, a source in the know of the development said Agwai lost his job the day he appeared at Obasanjo’s birthday party in Abeokuta.

“The general knew his job was over the moment he started getting calls from senior government officials querying his use of the word ‘change’ in his lecture at the birthday. They also questioned his fraternity with Obasanjo,” the source said.
Agwai, 66, was appointed chief of army staff by Obasanjo in 2003, and was elevated to the rank of full-star general and chief of defence staff  in 2006. He retired in 2009.

Not only is ‘change’ the slogan of the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Agwai also committed the “fatal” mistake of being seen in the company of Obasanjo, who has been openly critical of President Jonathan ahead of the 2015 elections.
Agwai is currently out of the country but he is said be “unruffled” by the decision to sack him one year and one month after he was appointed chairman of the intervention agency following the resignation of Christopher Kolade, the former chairman who quit suddenly.
A statement by Abati announcing Agwai’s removal read: “In furtherance of his efforts to continuously re-energise and reposition agencies of the federal government for optimal service delivery, President Jonathan has appointed Mr. Ishaya Dare Akau as the new chairman of SURE-P.

“Akau, whose appointment takes immediate effect, replaces Agwai who served as chairman of the SURE-P until today.
“The new SURE-P chairman hails from Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and holds Bachelor degrees in the arts and law.
“Akau comes to the job with years of experience as a high-level administrator in the nation’s public service. His record of service includes tenures as Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Education Board and Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission.
“President Jonathan thanks the outgoing Chairman of SURE-P, Agwai for his service to the nation and wishes him well in his future endeavours.”

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